1. I was seduced into buying two mangos by their lush colors nestled in among the pineapple and the papayas. But you can't judge a book by its cover or a mango by its skin. They smell so vile -- sweet plastic rot -- that it was difficult to even bring myself to cut them up. Not for myself I did this; my daughters begged for a taste. I gagged my way through peeling and slicing the noxious fruit only to have it refused by each girl in turn.
2. Let the vocalizing begin! The baby, all of eight months now, has begun to express his moods by declaiming at me. The other day he sat disconsolately in his high chair and sadly pronounced, "Blab blab WAB blab. Muh muh muh." Then he solemnly picked up a spoon and carefully whapped himself in the face.
3. We've been listening to The Iliad in the car, and it strikes me how much easier it is to follow the flow of Homer's poetry hearing it rather than reading it. The narrator is George Guidall, who has a mellifluous voice and a sound dramatic instinct. Even my girls are following along -- they cheer whenever Agamemnon comes on the scene because they think he has a funny name.
4. And speaking of the Iliad, Darwin and I are agreed that it would make an awesome anime series. Lots of violence, weird supernatural stuff, emphasis on honor and battle, and an episodic structure. Picture wide-eyed scantily-clad goddesses and Achilles with long flowing blond locks and a big honking sword and you're all set.
5. We had the roof replaced this week. Yay new roof. Thanks to Opinionated Homeschooler for taking us in for two days and showing us a good time while we hid from the noise.
6. "If you were stuck on a desert island and could take only one thing, what would it be?" We were discussing this around the dinner table, and people had varying answers: books, gadgets, etc. I turned to my seven-year-old and asked, "Eleanor, what would you want if you were stuck on a desert island?"
"A boat," she said, without looking up from her plate.
7. Pentimento has an excellent post on love and unconscious prejudice.
I never met anyone who was openly racist or anti-Semitic until I was an adult. My mother told me which neighborhood children's parents had signed a petition asking a moving family not to sell their home to a black family; I didn't play with those children. So it had never occurred to me how prejudiced I actually was. I did catch glimpses of my own intolerance occasionally, usually on the subway: in the South Bronx, when I was pregnant, I witnessed two mothers get into a fight in front of their children before a cop stepped in, and was horrified; another time, also in the Bronx, when I was coming home from my teaching job and reading a dissertation source in Italian, and was annoyed by the loud revelry of a drunken Puerto Rican man sitting across from me, I decided that the people with whom I rode the train did not share my values.
It's easy to assume, though, that those of your own group do share them. But here, I've come to see that my "group" is not defined by my race or ethnicity. And I'm saddened by the repulsion and fear I reflexively feel towards those who seem not to be like me in ways that are vaguely menacing.
This is something that I've been thinking a lot about lately: how to love as Jesus would love. And specifically, how to respond in love to behavior I find appalling. How to hate the sin and love the sinner -- really.